The companies announced the all-cash agreement on Monday. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement on a transaction that delivers excellent value to Paramount shareholders while also positioning Simon & Schuster for its next phase of growth with KKR,” said Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Paramount Global.
After the deal closes, Simon & Schuster will become a standalone private company with Jonathan Karp, president and CEO, and Dennis Eulau, COO and CFO, still at the helm. KKR also announced plans to support the launch of a broad-based equity ownership program to provide the publisher’s more than 1,600 employees an opportunity to own shares in the company.
In a letter to Simon & Schuster employees, Karp explained that discussions with KKR had been initiated this spring. He emphasized the potential for growth, the promise of increased investment and the equity deal.
“Meanwhile, it’s business as usual for all of us,” Karp noted in the letter. “As you have done so well throughout this process, let’s keep our noses in the books and our focus on delivering the best possible results for our authors and our distribution clients. That focus has been integral to our success and it’s the reason we can celebrate this outcome.”